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Winter 2013-2014

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Stamped Steel or Cast Iron Wings?

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Should I spend more money on cast-iron wings?

Q. I can save money by buying stamped steel rather than cast-iron extension wings for my new tablesaw. What do cast-iron wings offer that steel wings don't?

A. Over the long haul, you'll find that cast-iron wings have at least four valuable benefits that are worth the extra money. First, a cast-iron wing is much more rugged and is more likely to remain flat after years of use. You can inadvertently bend a steel wing by grabbing it when you move your saw or by dropping something heavy on it, such as a full sheet of plywood. Second, a cast-iron wing adds about 25 lb. to the top of your saw table. That additional mass helps soak up vibration. Two wings are even better. Third, a cast-iron wing provides a dead-flat surface that's useful even when the saw isn't running. An unplugged tablesaw makes a great assembly table, and a single cast-iron wing adds almost 50 percent more flat surface area to the main table. The ribbed surface on a stamped steel wing is anything but flat. Fourth, believe it or not, a cast-iron wing is a convenient surface for sharpening tools. Simply attach some sandpaper with low-tack spray adhesive. The wing is flat, rock solid and more accessible than the main table—perfect for lapping the backside of chisels and plane irons.

 

 

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Comments

EricB wrote re: Stamped Steel or Cast Iron Wings?
on 02-23-2009 4:22 PM

Make sure you know what the cost is of purchasing the cast iron wings later on.  I purchased a saw with the stamped wings to save money with the idea of purchasing the cast iron later.  The difference in the cost of the saw with stamped wings was around $150 less than with cast iron wings.  To purchase the cast iron wings after the fact will cost me $180 per wing.

Henry Holmes wrote re: Stamped Steel or Cast Iron Wings?
on 01-09-2011 10:44 PM

where do you buy cast iron wings for a Delta Contractor's saw?  Could you give me the names of some vendors?   thanks hth4150